As revealed by The Telegraph on Wednesday night, Newcastle have agreed a deal to sign the highly-rated Matthew Bondswell on a free transfer.
Here’s a closer look at the player set to become our first permanent signing of 2021, looking at his profile, experience, style of play, previous clubs and where he’s likely to fit in:
Who is he?
Matthew Bondswell, born in Nottingham in 2002, is an 18 year-old left back who stands 6ft 1′ tall.
After spending time in the academy of Nottingham Forest from the age of 8 years-old, Bondswell joined the academy of Bundesliga side RB Leipzig in the summer of 2018 – after turning down contracts from Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea.
Following a few years playing for RB Leipzig U18’s, Bondswell decided he needed more senior experience – joining Dutch 2nd division side FC Dordrecht on a season long loan, where he made 6 senior appearances.
Bondswell has represented England from U15-U18 level and was part of the U17 squad that won the Syrenka Cup, alongside the likes of Jude Bellingham, Harvey Elliott and Jamal Musiala.
What type of player is he?
An explosive left-back, Bondswell is a modern day full-back who is excellent going forward and relies a lot on his pace.
He’s been compared to Bayern Munich’s David Alaba and has showed his versatility by operating as a left-midfielder and centre-back during his time at youth level.
The 18 year-old has shown his explosiveness in more than one sport – winning a silver medal in the triple jump at the English Schools Track and Field Championships in the summer of 2017, and also took gold in the same discipline at country and schools level.
He also represented Nottinghamshire schools in the 200m sprint event too.
Where will he fit in?
Bondswell will link up with our U23 squad giving us more depth on the left hand side of defence.
He will need to take time to adapt to the English game again – but The Telegraph report that he could be used as cover for Jamal Lewis and Paul Dummett should either pick up injuries between now and the end of the season.
With that in mind, there’s clearly a real belief that he’ll be capable making the step up if required.
Where has he played?
- Nottingham Forest Academy (2010-2018)
- RB Leipzig (2018-2020)
- FC Dordrecht – loan (2020-2021)
- England U15 (2016)
- England U16 (2017-2018)
- England U17 (2018-2019)
- England U18 (2019)